When Katy Perry’s new single, Roar, leaked on Saturday, the pop star was surprised. But she was nowhere near as surprised as the DJs at the Morning Mash Up! were when Perry showed up to their studios unplanned on Tuesday.

Mikey Piff and a handful of other programmers at SiriusXM Hits1 rushed into the office as soon as they heard the song Saturday to incorporate it into the weekend’s programming and start working to bring Perry into the studio, since she happened to be in New York this week. Well, it worked. Tuesday morning Katy sat down with the Morning Mash Up! crew to play Roar and talk about everything from her relationship with John Mayer to why this album is such a deviation from her usual peppy self.

“The reason I called it Prism is there was a period in my life where it was a little dark, and then I finally decided to let the light in,” Perry said. “Through that I get to shine all this extra light I have out there to my fans with this song.”

On Prism, Perry abandons the “character” she embodied when performing songs like California Gurls and Last Friday Night.

“It’s basically just me. It’s not any character I created,” she said of the new album. “Essentially, cotton-candy Katy got punched in the face and had to realize reality, and now she’s living there, and that’s me.”

Piff and Nicole from the Morning Mash Up, who interviewed Perry, both shared some more behind-the-scenes details from her surprise visit:

How did Katy’s unexpected visit come about?

Piff: I woke up on Saturday and saw the song had leaked, but the last thing we want to do is harm Katy’s vision for releasing it. I finally got the OK to play it from her label who said, “Hey, it’s out there. There’s no stopping it now,” so we debuted Roar on Saturday afternoon, changing our programming for the weekend to make sure we played it a ton like all our listeners were requesting on Twitter and Facebook. Then, a plan came together that Katy was going to be in New York last minute. Through phone calls late Sunday night and early Monday morning, we got it all done. We decided to put her on the Morning Mash Up live, interrupting regular programming because she’s that important. It was a super-stealth operation, all finalized within less than 24 hours. It was probably one of the smoothest things we’ve ever done.

Nicole: Our boss said last minute, “Katy’s on her way up, get into the studio!” So we did, easy as that.

What is Katy like in person?

Piff: She’s always awesome, super nice and playful. She’s one of the few people who remembers everyone’s names. She’s always very gracious and thankful for the support we give her. She’s one of the people who no matter how big she gets, she always comes back.

Nicole: She’s always super bubbly and funny, sharing stories about her crazy grandma, her brother’s birthday gift and what was her best subject back in school. She seemed very in love when we brought up her boyfriend, John Mayer, and said when she laughed in her duet with him it was a “love giggle” because she was so happy!

Did she say anything that surprised you?

Piff: I’ve learned with her not to be surprised because she’s very open. She has a very bright personality. She would have to do something incredibly crazy for her to surprise us.

What else from the event stuck out?

Piff: The massive crowd outside. As soon as we had a time frame, we tweeted about 45 minutes before she arrived what was happening. The only other time I’ve seen a crowd that big was for Lady Gaga when one of her songs came out. It filled up the whole block and part of the street, how many people came to see Katy Perry.

Watch the video below for more from Katy’s interview, plus her reaction to the leak.

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